Thursday, May 28, 2009

Greg Lake Has Nothing to Do with Me

Work finally ended yesterday and I went to the B&B to wait for Em' and her sister to come back from shopping. I sat on the porch and talked about cars with her father and we came very close to being witnesses to an accident. A car went to pass a stopped car and nearly got creamed by another as it was going through the intersection.

Went out with the Scottish Sisters for sushi. Got told a great story of how one of them met an old boyfriend. Drunk at college, liked the wavy colours of his jumper. Walked up to him. Poked the jumper. Walked away.

The Grand Slam was epic. Started with an open mic that had at least one major uncomfortable silence. One Truth gave a loose and entertaining feature then the slam. I'm not sure if it was just me, but the room was tense. We'd been waiting all night for it to start and we were all off on an adventure. Judging was brutal, but consistent in the first round. I read Another Divorce Poem, did it well and placed fifth out of eight. Vernell, Patrick and Wali were battling for the top three spots.

In round two I read After Birth, blew a couple of lines but presented it well so I moved up to fourth. Gina and I swapped places and Rachel was right behind me.

Had no clue what to do in round three. I did not want to play it safe, nor play for points so I went with my original game plan and did The Children of Dunblane as Teenagers.

Gina then read Obama's Desk, knocked it out of the room and finished in fourth and Rachel nailed her's and we tied for fifth.

It was a great night. All the poets put themselves out there, left it on the mic and it all finished as it should have in the end. The poets on the team all earned their spots. For me, it was a successful slam season. Earned my way into the slam with points and not by backing into it. Got into the third round and remained in the hunt for a place on the team until the end. No regrets.

Been flying all over the place today. Did you know Scottish girls like seeing chipmunks in the wild? Fact. Took them out to Blacklick and we had a fine time. Then had lunch and dessert at Jeni's. Approval all around.

Back to the airport to pick up one of Em's friends from Bristol. Tonight we went to the Franklin Park Conservatory where our friend Joanna organized a hen party for her. It was not awkward being the only Y chromosome in the group. I ended up wandering a bit, taking in the beautiful Palm House. A single guy should be able to do well on Thursday nights, when they have cocktails at the conservatory. Women are everywhere. Took lots of pictures, which I will eventually download.

Anyway, just wanted to say I was driving around three hot foreign chicks and their accents are hot.

I'm a lucky man.

So it's a table and tie hunt on Friday, back to the airport - then my parents get here.

Is something happening this weekend I should know about?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There was no blood

His teeth are starting to fall out. We've been monitoring it for a couple of weeks now. This morning he was even tugging at it himself. Finally, this morning, his mother yanked it out. He really did not react.

Not sure what the tooth fairy is going to bring him? More Tootsie Pops?

He also had his first dental appointment today. I was told he was very brave even though his mother wanted to cry when she saw how scared he looked. He really does not like having his mouth touched. But he did well during the cleaning, did not like the sound of the water/suction and really did not like getting the flouride cleaning. He did great though.

Still working on wows. Getting things together though. Weather is looking good.

Her father and sister are here and having fun. Her dad has never been to the U.S. and is very curious about traffic patterns, lane assignments and such. Have not taken them through any American roundabouts yet. Her sister is a bit more used to warmer climates, he's having a tough time adjusting.

Tomorrow night it's the Grand Slam. Eight poets are competing for four slots on the team that will represent Writer's Block at the National Poetry Slam. Yes, I'm in it. Yes you should be there.

Eight O'Clock at Kafe Kerouac.

Monday, May 25, 2009

At My Window Sad and Lonely

I never saw him play with the group, but he was a member of Wilco when I started listening to them.

Jay Bennett's death at the age of 45 was quite the shock.

Condolences to all his friends and family.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

At least I'm sick now and not a week from now.

Could not get to sleep last night. Bad cold, but I'm feeling a bit better in the warmth of today.

Got some more planning done. Ran into someone I've never met but is one of my Facebook friends. That's always a cool thing.

Here's a library visitor from earlier in the month.

I wonder if it was one of those angry geese on the roof from a few weeks back?

Conversation from this morning.

She: I want to try some American breakfast cereals.

Me: Such as?

Her: Count Chocula.

So while shopping she perused the cereal aisle like a kid in a candy store and got some chocolate/peanut butter version of Cocoa Puffs. I wish her luck with that one.

In the meantime I've been climbed on by my son and bashed by a six year old wielding a Tootsie Pop.

Swimming went great. He circled the pool again, and when they were in the deep end (12 1/2 feet) he wandered off. No fear.

Her Father and Sister arrive tomorrow. The week escalates!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kicking it into gear

The gal and I went someplace new last night. Encore is an off shoot and less expensive version of Handke's. We were both impressed. Fair, but small portions, decent wine and booze selection and attentive service. We'll be back, possibly sooner than later.

A long weekend and short work week kicks life into overdrive next week. Airport runs and wedding errands. Long range weather forecast holding up well.

We have my son this weekend. His teeth are starting to come out.

All this and the Grand Slam is Wednesday night.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Busy with nothing to say

Plans are moving along. Arranging meetings.

Still, finding enough tables and chairs weighs heavy.

Went to WB for open mic and slam. I have to say Jory did one of the coolest things I've heard in a long time. He enlisted the help of a sax player and they did a call and response piece to some haiku. It was excellent.

There was also a poem read about a musician hoarder that made my speccy girlfriend cringe. Even I knew that one hit a bit close to home for her.

I did a polarizing 'Why Jackson Browne Sucks.' I think some in the audience had no idea who he is, which to me is a good thing.

Did not compete in the slam as I already had enough points to get in the Grand Slam.

Glad I did not. Judging was harsh, but consistent. I wore out my voice booing. Not many high scores last night. Congratulations to Patrick, who was a solid winner.

Not sure how prepped I'll be for next week as there is so much going on. I will be there though.

My son is soon to be losing teeth. His front lowers specifically. I could have pulled them out, but the sight of his blood makes me squeamish.

Finally heard back from Sherrod Brown about the immigration issue we had. Thanks, but she's already here!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I took a little risk

I've only relocated a couple of times in my life. One was to college and the other was to Columbus. Once by choice, the other by necessity.

To move to another country completely is really hard, and she's very brave for doing this, especially moving in with the likes of me.

When she was in London, I asked her to find me the object on the right.

Went to Nancy's yesterday morning. Still not sure if they're staying open. I asked and was told they're closer than they were three weeks ago, They're trying, but I fear it's a tough battle.

Took her to get a library card in the afternoon. It was one of the things she was asking about when she was here last. Yay, now we can get five more movies!

Saw part of the Crew game but we had an appointment with our Officiant so we missed the Schelotto goal and the tying goal in extra time. Crew can't seem to hold a lead this year.

Touched base with the Officiant and got some good ideas, so that's on track. My biggest worries are tables and chairs, how to entertain her father and how to get RSVP's out of people who have not responded yet. Let's go people!

Back to work after a whirlwind weekend. It's all a whirlwind from here on out.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pre-Bacon Quest

She is here, and arrived on time and with no problems at customs.

Not going back this time, any time soon at least.

She had to carry around an x-ray with her. I'm going to post a picture of her chest, or put it on a t-shirt in Nigel Tufnel style.

I think she brought every girl group cd compilation ever made with her.

Off to find some breakfast food soon. Then other stuff. The Crew and a meeting with our Officiant.

That's less than two weeks away. Her Father and Sister get here next week.

In other news my Mother is now on Facebook.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Who were you then who are you now?

A long stressful workweek ends and a new chapter in my life starts. She gets here tomorrow. For good. I'm having the last Irn-Bru because she's bringing a fresh batch with her. After that's gone, we're on our own. Or to Jungle Jim's.

I've been part of two broken marriages and really do not want to go for the triple crown of failure. Who is perfect here? Not me. Far from it. Often times I get the feeling I was not even liked in my few previous relationships, that my eccentricities were just tolerated for some mysterious reason.

At least I can laugh when a friend of mine says I don't have enough trick to be a sociopath.

Getting the house in better shape. Finding the dust bunnies, probably missed a few spots so I'm proofreading the floor and things. Might even change the locks.

Another message on the machine for L. Another bill collector. I wonder if it's one of the bank accounts she overdrew from then skipped out on. One of them she had to have a relative cosign for. She must have hidden that from him the way she hid a credit card debt and who knows what else from me.

Headed out to First Draft tonight. Looking forward to seeing some folks tonight. It's going to be a good weekend.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bring it!

The visa is now in her hot little hands, waiting to be opened upon entry.

Went out and bought a proper mattress for my son tonight. He's been sleeping, when he sleeps, on a box spring with a pad on top. It's something I felt guilty about, not being able to provide him with a real bed. Now he has something else to bounce on at five in the morning.

It's game seven between the Penguins and Capitals tonight. What I've seen of this series has been spectacular. I have to admit to rooting for Washington, not because of Federov, but because of OSU alumni Dave Steckel.

I hear that Ovechkin kid is a good player too, there may be a future for him in the league.

I'll watch the game and clean between periods. Most of what I need to do is downstairs now, so I'll be able to at least hear the game.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm calling Kilroy

There were several vague responses from the embassy. About a week, five to ten days then ten to twenty days to get the visa - a phone call cost about two bucks a minute and no information was given. Email is deliberately not answered. one needs a code for that, and that means another phone call. I decided to contact my congressional representative and see if there was anything she could do.

I spoke to an aide on the phone, who told me I needed to fill out a privacy release form and email it to him. I did that and later in the day on Friday he sent a very polite and professional letter of inquiry to the embassy. I also contacted one of my senators, filled out pretty much the same form and was told their immigration intern had a backlog of work.

On Monday morning the congressional aide sent me the response from the embassy, that her visa was being printed out and that she should receive the visa mid-week. Today she got a text that she will be getting her visa, and the return of her passport on Wednesday morning.

She arrives here on Saturday.

I have no idea if the email nudged the embassy into action, but I think I know who I'll be voting for when she's up for reelection in 2010.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Breezy, noisy Sunday

Werner Herzog's narration style could make Goodnight Moon sound like the book of revelations. I can only guess why he hates penguins so much.

My son has been bouncing off the walls all weekend, sometimes at 5AM. We got into the backyard for a bit. He's not as bothered by the noise from the people next door putting up a roof, which causes all the dogs in the area to start barking and whining, as I am. He was not even disturbed much when I broke out the weed whacker.

Play is a bit different with an autistic child. Expectations change. The act of throwing and catching a ball with your son is altered, being it rolling a rubber ball or Nerf football down the stairs, or a large play ball off the side of a Radio Flyer.

He's been reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar and identifying the drawings. He's pretty good at it. He takes my hand and uses my finger to point at a picture he doesn't know. I tell him what it is, and he repeats it back to me. He thinks the word salami is the funniest thing he's ever heard.

Speaking of funny, I was looking at a professor rating website and the line, "no wonder her husband left her," really made me laugh. Over ten years later, she's still bringing it up in her classes. Sad and revisionist at the same time.

Did some shopping for the event yesterday, picked up plates, cups, etc. Still need one of the major parties to be allowed into the country. Maybe we'll hear something tomorrow. Maybe this week.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Soccer, wind and bouncing off the wall

Got up too early to find a feed for the Old Firm match. The crowd at Ibrox was loud as the home team came out ahead 1-0. They have a rock solid defense and the Celtic offense could not break through. I'd question why Strachan did not start McGready, but I doubt it would have made a difference.

Did not realize Everton was on FSC this morning so I got to see them draw for one half before taking my son swimming. That's how the game ended.

It's the Crew against the Wiz at home tonight. Will the canaries win their first game? In the wind?

The boy has a new obsession.

He comes into the back room and flicks the switch. He likes watching it move, for reasons that are only known to him. He does the same thing with the fan in the bedroom. He'll lie there with me and watch it for a long time. His mother tells me he will not go into her mother's bedroom, where she has one. I can only speculate why he he is not interested in going in there.

He also moved the chairs in the dining room to form a little tunnel, which he crawls though.

Really have to clean the house. I've also been told he's been doing this with chairs at school. His swimming is going great. He went the width of the pool and back, unaided, several times. He even kept his head above water most of the time. He also did not pitch too much of a fit when the lesson was over, unlike last week.

Still waiting on her visa. Got fed up with the vagueness and contacted my congresswoman. One of her aides sent a very polite letter of inquiry to the embassy on Friday afternoon. We'll see what happens come Monday. Could be an interesting week.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Shilling for the fellow who brings the sheep in

Been buying things I never thought would be purchased again. Went to the Stepford Mall and did not find what I was looking for, but I did price external hard drives. Ended up back where I should have started, would have saved me gas, and bought the thing.

I was so stressed and aggravated by all the stop and go that I ended up buying a six pack of a very good beer to take the edge off.

Also got my hair cut, and went to Nancy's for chicken and noodles. People are trying to make a go of it, so it may not close. Emphasis on the word may.

The wait continues. Freaking paperwork is, where?

For some strange reason I have Grey's Anatomy on. It's been awhile. Are they killing off Izzy or George?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Popping open a can in the spring

You know if you eat chocolate pudding and chase it down with some Throwback Mountain Dew, you get a flavor like a Jaffa Cake in your mouth.

This is good.

Now, you may be asking, what is Throwback Mountain Dew?

It's a limited edition product that is available through early June. It's made with natural (cane and beet) sugar and has fewer ingredients than the yucky high fructose corn syrup product that's been out there for years.

It's made the way God intended it. The aftertaste is a wonderful, lingering flavor of citrus and it's tastes less fizzy and chemical.

In short, it's great. Tastes the way it did when I was a kid. It's available in 12oz cans and 20oz plastic bottles, although I have not seen those yet.

For you cola drinkers there is also a Throwback Pepsi available. I've never been a Pepsi drinker, I'm a Coke guy. This stuff though, if it was offered year round, would convert me. It's that good. Even if it does not encourage other companies (Hey Coca-Cola!) to put out a retro sugar based drink, it's a cool gimmick

HFCS has really ruined the taste of soda in this country. Try Mexican Coke. Try some Jarritos. Go to Canada and drink their soda. It's better, and possibly better for you.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Parts you can see without fainting

My friend Stephanie put out the call for some knuckle photographs a few weeks back. Here's what she did with mine.

So cool I had to buy it. You can see the Knuckles exhibit at What the Rock through the end of May.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Oh it's May

I've been making lists, asking for lists, receiving lists.

It's Lisztomania!

The weather tonight has been miserable. Tornado sirens went off. Local weather people wet their pants in joy. They could use all their toys. Their dual titan doppler telestrater green screen radars, and still get it wrong!

Worked my way through another of the Ealing set. Last night it was The Maggie. Fun little film about a salty Scottish captain of a decrepit ship who cons his way into taking some cargo from a wealthy American businessman. It has a witty scene involving a pier, a ship, and some highland cows. I had never seen one until we got lost in Pollock Park.

Deftly directed by Alexander Mackendrick, it takes a few good shots at impaitient Americans, and contains some roots found in one of my favorite films, Local Hero. You know Bill Forsyth had to see that one for inspiration. They'd make a good double feature.

I was feeling sad, bored and did not want to go to bed so I ended up watching Rachel Getting Married. It is a very uneven film filled with some deliberate and some not deliberate uncomfortable moments. A lengthy monologue by Anne Hathaway at her sister's rehearsal dinner left me squirming at some very bad writing and the minutia of the wedding reception went on for about ten minutes too long. For the most part the acting was sound, with high marks to Bill Irwin and Debra Winger. Even Robyn Hitchcock has a cameo, so it's not all bad.

Also had my interview about Arts Fest. It went well I guess, tried to not sound too much like an idiot. Lots of nervous laughter. Not sure on the air date, but will let the two or three of you who read this know when I find out.

Now, to continue waiting, and to hope there's a window of dry weather so I can mow the lawn sometime tomorrow or Sunday.